Ideas

Obama Is a Moderate Republican

And you thought he was liberal? The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein (who also writes for Newsweek and The Daily Beast) argues that the problem with Republicans today is that President Obama is following their ideology, cribbing ideas from the GOP of the mid-1990s and leaving today’s Republicans without some of their signature policies. Some of Obama’s biggest legislative battles over the past two years were just ‘90s flashbacks, Klein writes: a health-care proposal with an individual mandate, which was proposed by conservative economists 20 years ago; a cap and trade tax, which Republicans supported to combat sulfur dioxide; and the famous tax hikes of George H.W. Bush. Republicans were wildly popular with these policies—so why did they abandon them? “It appears that as Democrats moved to the right to pick up Republican votes, Republicans moved to the right to oppose Democratic proposals,” Klein writes.